The Effect of Hydrogen and Hydrides on the Integrity of Zirconium Alloy Components: Hydride Reorientation

Hydride orientation has an important effect on fracture toughness of hydride-containing zirconium alloys because hydrides form as approximately linear arrays of platelet-shaped microscopic precipitates with habits on or near the basal planes of the α–Zr matrix in which they form.

This Stand Alone Report (SAR) addresses a key aspect of the issues raised in the foregoing by providing a comprehensive, self-contained and up-to-date review and analyses of the results of studies carried out on the conditions governing hydride orientation in zirconium alloy pressure and fuel cladding tubes used in nuclear reactors. The report combines a detailed theoretical and experimental overview of this subject with the author’s own analyses of these results. These analyses make use of theoretical advances documented in the author’s 2012 book dealing with the effects of hydrogen and hydrides on the integrity of zirconium alloy components. In the author’s 2012 book, emphasis is placed on delayed hydride cracking, which is a localised failure mechanism.